March 29, 2023 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Live at St. Joseph Village board

On the agenda: liquor licenses, walking paths and more.

I am not the only one here for a change… Librarian Susan McKinney is here as is Pastor Gene Turner. Will Smith is here to present his Eagle Scout Project.

Treasurers report now. They have money.

Will Smith is going high tech for his Eagle Scout Presentation. I love it. This will make following it so much easier. #Powerpoint

Will Smith is from Scout Troop #40. He is going to make a bike repair station for his Eagle Scout Project.

Smith pointing out having a bike repair is eventually inevitable on the Kickapoo Rail Trail. #truth

Smith has done the research and found the best bike repair stand. It includes all sorts of tools and an air pump. The cost is $1,040. He is allowing $200 for extra expenditures. Durst Cycle will cover most of the project but he is going to do a fundraiser for the rest. Insulation is minimal. He wants to place it at Kolb Park and needs a concrete pad for mounting.

This is such a good Eagle Scout project. It’s going to be used a lot but is also simple so he will be able to complete it in a timely manner.

Art Rapp saying he feels it is a good idea.

Mayor saying when they originally put together the plan for Kolb Park the wanted to install something like this.

Max Painter says the design is good.

Rapp discussing the cost to the village. They will pay for the concrete pad.

The board gave him the OK. Smith is going to work on it this Spring and Summer. “I am supposed to it done before I get my license.”

Jim Page is up next to update the board on the walking path project at the sports complex. Page has a multi-phase plan to update the sports complex which included the high school soccer field being moved there, a walking path and a community building.

They got denied for their first grant so they are moving on to another one.
The deadline is March 1. Here is what Page wants to do.

Page is asking engineers to look at the walking path because he is concerned that the soccer field, which was just moved out there, needs to be moved a few feet to make it less “bumpy.” He said the field has “temporarily” been set up.

Discussing funding now. It could be grants, fundraisers, ect.

Survey time: Does the community actually want a walking path out there?

Page is also working with a committee that are working with an architect to look at community buildings throughout the state. They will create a survey for people to give feedback. So if you want a community building or don’t you can let them know. That will happen soon within the next few months.

Lisa Wortman from Jack Flash is here. The village had some discussions with her and had some concerns.

“If we did this- a gas station can have video gaming if they are a truck stop. Jack Flash is not large enough to qualify for a truck stop. What the village would have to do is… currently the only establishments that can have video gaming is restaurant. We do not have a bar license and the restrictions on the restaurant license-

To have video gaming in your establishment you have to allow them to pour alcohol if you have the video gaming- DIRECT QUOTE FROM THE MAYOR.

The restaurant license means you have to sell more food and liquor than gaming.

To do anything in another establishment the village would have to create another license to allow the pouring. They don’t want to create a bar license. They discussed a cap on the number of drinks, whether it was just beer and wine.

If we allow this it would be very restricted. My thinking is you would currently have to have a package license to begin with.

Tami doesn’t want a gaming parlor in town. “It has to be a legitimate business.” And the sales at the convenience store would have to surpass the total from gaming. Tami said the state says they have to have a separate area with an attendant pouring drinks.

The village attorney has been looking at samples of licenses and there aren’t a whole lot available.

“We need to decide if we are even interested. We had the committee meeting with Lisa and Jack Flash and we need to decide if we are interested in doing this and what the restrictions would be.”

Tami stressing the village determines the liquor license requirements. Right now Tami is the liquor commissioner.

Wagner suggesting doing a community survey. Max Painter saying the feedback he saw was not very positive. Tami saying the board are the policymakers. “We aren’t going to please everyone all the time. We have to weigh the pros and cons.”

Roche Cain texted the Mayor and said he is concerned that this package/pour license would be less restrictive than what he is under.

Gaming isn’t allowed within 100 feet of a church. Jack Flash is saying that they are fine because it is building to building.

You have to be 21 in the video gaming area.

Susan McKinney is talking. She is the librarian and the library is located across the street.

McKinney said she has an issue with the increased traffic and the increase in almost accidents. “Are we willing to risk the life of a child for the extra tax dollars?” Susan bringing up those places in town that have gambling also serve food so is Jack Flash keeping their kitchen open?

Julie for the point: Who is going to monitor the two-drink minimum.

Lisa is now talking. They have 10 stores with gaming in Illinois. They want to convert the former pizza space into its own segregated area within the store. She’s talking now about how they “sting” their own stores to make sure people get carded.

Most of the patrons are there for the entertainment aspect of gaming not alcohol but because of state law we have to have it available- Lisa said.

So… would now be a good time to point out that the sales tax rebate is coming up in a year?

Tami just said that Jack Flash could have up to six machines.

Lisa said people will be able to drink while gambling due to state law but she would be fine with a one-drink minimum because she doesn’t think it will affect the amount people actually gamble.

They want six machines.

Tami stressing it doesn’t need to be so complicated and a package/pour license is the best way to do it.

Tami saying restrictions will keep it from becoming a bar.

Wagner bringing up if the other places with a liquor license want gambling how can they control that- they can’t.

Max Painter is not prepared to vote tonight he said. Wagner still wants to do a survey. Art is looking for more info regarding samples from other towns.

Max Painter bringing up the former La Luna owners were not told that there was an option to let them keep their machines and do a package/pour license. “It’s a slap in the face to that guy that we didn’t try.”

Tami arguing that the owner could have been creative and brought the issue forward.

Susan said she didn’t know about the two-drink max and she could see it working but still has concerns with how close it is to the library.

Rick Ingram is talking now- trustee on the library board. I have some major concerns which Susan has already spoken of however many of those concerns have subsided considerably. I think we need to keep this out of the site of little kids. We have a library board meeting on Thursday and I know this will come up as a topic. And don’t take that as 100 percent behind this action. I am considerably appeased on it.

Tami-there is going to be extra revenue there.

I broke my rule and spoke as a resident. I asked them to talk to people in Ogden and also pointed out that this tried to get slipped in under the radar a little bit and asked them to table it to think about it a little more and get a feel from the community.

Tiffany McElroy-Smetzer talking now. “Do we want gaming machines in every single establishment. We spend a money to make St. Joseph nice.”

Tiffany saying “They have done a very nice job with their gas station, even though I hate it.” (Her mom lives across the road.) Stressing it’s not really about Jack Flash. It’s really about all the other places that will have gaming.

“It is counter-intuitive to everything we do as a village, with our zoning or everything else.” Tiffany saying it’s not about the alcohol. It’s about the gambling. Tiffany pointing out La Luna owners could sue the village.

Roy McCarty- “We need to sit back and take a breath on it.”

Max Painter pointing out that a lot of the social media comments on my article were not in favor of this.

Max and Jim saying they would vote no if they voted today. Max saying that nothing is pretty much going to change his vote because of public opinion, which he represents, isn’t for it.

Tami asking what would change their minds.

Dan Davis talking about branding and how Jack Flash is going to do classy gaming machines.

The board will have a study session on January 28 at 7 p.m. where video gaming and the liquor license situation will be discussed.

If you feel strongly about it you should come on up and tell them because Dan Davis is stressing that social media feedback is not enough for them to base a decision on. Dan is stressing that it’s a two drink limit and Art is stressing it’s only beer and wine.

It’s tabled. If you feel strongly one way or another you gotta come to the next meeting.

Max made a motion for Motor Fuel Resolution.

Tami talking about the Public Works Facebook Page. You should check it out cause it is awesome.

You can find it here.

There are 15 properties that have brush outside. So they are discussing what to do with it.

Tami saying not picking it up could cause flooding issues. Which no one wants.


Art is suggesting that the village pay someone and then bill people. Tiffany is saying they can’t do that.

Tiffany pointing out that they don’t really enforce if people have garbage in their front yard so enforcing brush would be difficult.

I was too busy checking my poll results…. Go vote in my informal non-binding poll about the liquor licenses.

I think they are going to mail letters to the homeowners. Just stop putting your brush out when you aren’t supposed to. Please.

Davis is concerned with north-south roads between Lincoln and Warren and speeding. #SLOWDOWN #STOPRACING

Gene Turner saying Third Street and Warren is very a bad intersection.

To sum up 10 minutes of conversation: DO NOT DRIVE LIKE IDIOTS.

Hackler park bathroom is still being updated.

Discussing moving meetings to 6 p.m.


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